Dr. Ofori-Acquah is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics at the Universityof Pittsburgh. He is Director of the Center for Translational and International Hematology at the University’s Vascular Medicine Institute. He is Director and Project Leader of a number of NIH and Wellcome Trust research and training programs. His research is focused on the role and mechanism of extracellular heme in the pathobiology of sickle cell disease (SCD).
He has developed a mouse model of acute chest syndrome that recapitulates the clinical, biological and pathological features of the condition in humans. His group is using this model to unravel the mechanism of lung injury in acute chest syndrome, and to test candidate drugs for their potential to prevent and treat this lung condition. He developed the concept of extracellular heme crisis in SCD, and defined free heme as a prototypical erythroid danger associated molecular pattern molecule that drives sterile inflammation in this disorder in the absence of infection. His research on chronic effects of heme is focused on the role and mechanism of the Nrf2 pathway in end-organ damage.
His global health activities include co-directing a longitudinal observational study of biomarkers of organ damage in a large SCD cohort in Kumasi, Ghana, and as Director of the graduate course in Molecular Mechanisms of Human Genetic Diseases in the University of Ghana’s Wellcome Trust funded DELTAS Africa program.